Boss's Day & Beyond: Get to Know Steve Sukup
Oct 21, 2022
Success means something a little different for every person who tries to define it. For some, success may be a job title. Others may see success as an award or personal accomplishment. Maybe success is simply the way one views life, no matter what. For Sukup Manufacturing Co. President/CEO Steve Sukup, it appears to be the latter.
The busy corporate businessman made time for a casual walk and talk interview through the massive plant recently. What brings him joy is what many would view as just another day on the job. His eyes light up when he talks about manufacturing. He’s an innovator by nature; it’s in his DNA. And when you take a moment to learn more about the person behind the fancy job title, you’ll learn that Steve is a leader who cares. He loves a challenge and is eager to take part in his next adventure. It’s no secret that Steve is part of a legacy company; founded by his father and actively run by various generations of family. To know him, is to know that he doesn’t sit still for long and there’s always a new idea stirring inside his head.
“Never say never!” Steve insists this mantra has led the company to numerous opportunities because leadership took a chance. But that’s not the only simple sentence that’s moved mountains for the Sukup brand. When asked what taking a chance looks like, Steve sums it up, “Saying, ‘Yes’.”
Today, those words have changed lives. There’s the Sukup Safe T Home® , Sukup bin materials lining the walls of the Iowa Tap Room, and “Silo the Movie”, a film featuring the bins the company is known for. The family name and the good character attached to it, can be found around the world. If it’s not in the tropics of Haiti or connected to a vision to improve rural north Iowa, you can dig deep and find it where you’d never think: like the Winner’s Circle of the Belmont Stakes or New York’s 5th Avenue. For Steve there’s always time to, “Adventure every day”. He can even prove that outside the walls of the plant! Like the time he explored a sunken German sub. (He’s a licensed scuba diver!)
Throughout his interview on this particular day, Steve stayed humbled and focused. He thinks before he answers questions and smiles when he gets a chance to talk about the people he works with or the times he gets to venture into the plant to troubleshoot. (Did you know he started welding as a 6th grader?) He’s a firm believer that we can, “Grow it or make it” and works diligently to make sure others see the possibility in that phrase, too. He’s a competitive inventor who believes that, “A moving target is harder to hit.”
While some may believe that a President/CEO is just a powerful title, Steve happens to take the responsibility to heart. (Fun fact: he got his license to drive a semi truck at age 18!) He’s a man of faith who seeks God in all situations. “Listen for and look for the signs.”
Manufacturing. Engineering. Business. It’s in Steve Sukup’s blood. He wants to, “Live loud and travel broadly” all while making a difference in the world. He oversees a company that has a global reach and sees the role each individual plays in its success. (Another fun fact? He knows most all the names at the Sheffield plant and office!)
Throughout this piece, you may have noticed the bold print. That’s Steve’s list to live by. There are some others; “Cheer early and hopefully often!” as well as, “Don’t set yourself on fire to warn others." He's emphatic about, "Don't let the first NO be your last NO!" and "Perfect is the enemy of progress. Yea or nay??? I'm a yea!"
Maybe there’s a little inspiration in there for you to follow. Being the boss can’t be easy, but Steve seems up for the challenge. On Boss’s Day and beyond, we thank our fearless President/CEO for stepping up to guide this company to success.